White House Slams Democrats for Puerto Rico Vacation During Shutdown

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders harshly criticized Democratic lawmakers for flying to Puerto Rico for a political event and vacationing during a partial government shutdown.

Democratic lawmakers like New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez were spotted on the beaches of Puerto Rico during a meeting for a political action committee which supports the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The retreat comes on the 24th day of a partial government shutdown, the longest funding lapse in the history of the U.S. . .

Democrats have refused to budge from their position of $1.6 billion with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even telling Trump in a situation room meeting last week that even if Trump reopened the government they would not negotiate. Trump is now exploring funding options to begin construction on the wall, including declaring a national emergency. (Read more from “White House Slams Democrats for Puerto Rico Vacation During Shutdown” HERE)

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Russia Derangement Syndrome: Dem Senator Says It’s Not Insane to Ask If Trump Is a Russian Agent

By Townhall. Russia collusion might be the topic of discussion nowadays with the government shutdown, but it’s still a pathogen that has yet to leave the Democratic Party’s system. Today, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) suggested that it’s not insane to ask if Trump, knowingly or unknowingly, is a Russian agent. Warner was interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper (via NTK Network):

Jake, I think the earlier evidence this week, where the president’s campaign manager – and we’re unaware whether the president knew – where the president’s campaign manager, at whose direction turned over confidential polling data to a known Russian agent, a known Russian agent, who has ties to Putin,” Warner said. “Why would you turn over that information?”

Warner then told Tapper that it was this kind of information that Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort gave the Russians that they would have used to interfere in the 2016 election.

(Read more from “Russia Derangement Syndrome: Dem Senator Says It’s Not Insane to Ask If Trump Is a Russian Agent” HERE)

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Trump Targets Dems Over DACA Amid Shutdown Talks

By The Hill. President Trump on Sunday hit Democrats for their hesitance to include protections for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in talks to end a prolonged government shutdown, despite his own administration’s insistence that the program be left out of negotiations.

“Democrats are saying that DACA is not worth it and don’t want to include in talks,” Trump tweeted. “Many Hispanics will be coming over to the Republican side, watch!”

The president’s tweet contradicts comments he and Vice President Pence have made in recent days about DACA, which allows young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children to live and work here without fear of deportation. (Read more from “Trump Targets Dems Over Daca Amid Shutdown Talks” HERE)

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Government Shutdown Could Negatively Impact Immigration Courts for Years to Come

We’re currently in the midst of the longest running government shutdown in American history. The reason for the shutdown is simple: Republicans and Democrats see the issue of illegal immigration and border security very differently. President Donald Trump wants more than $5 billion to build a wall along the southern border while Democrats oppose the move. . .

According to Bloomberg, the lack of funding is forcing immigration courts to pull those who are not detained off the court calendars. Those individuals will be rescheduled once the shutdown comes to an end. The other problem though? Judges’ calendars are booked out for the next three or more years. Rescheduling those individuals will be even more of a challenge because of it.

“Finding available time slots to reschedule hearings could result in years of further delay,” Susan Long, co-director of Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, which gathers data on federal spending, told Bloomberg. . .

“While there has been a big focus on immigration enforcement, there has not been sufficient focus to the immigration court system. We’re housed in the Department of Justice, and, frankly, the Department of Justice has not advocated either as forcefully or skillfully for us,” [Dana Leigh] Marks told PBS’ Amna Nawaz. “As the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement resources has grown, what’s happened for the courts is that we have fallen behind and not received proportional increases that we would need to stay current with the cases that come into our system.” (Read more from “Government Shutdown Could Negatively Impact Immigration Courts for Years to Come” HERE)

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Biden’s Brother Explains Why Some Family Members Voted for Trump

By Townhall. Joe Biden’s younger brother Frank Biden said that not all members of the family were on board with Hillary Clinton in 2016 so they cast their vote for Donald Trump.

Biden told The Palm Beach Post the family members felt “slighted” by the Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign strategy. He said he believes his brother would have been able to pick up states the former secretary of state lost had he run.

“We never would have lost Pennsylvania, and all my relatives — the Finnegan family — who voted for Donald Trump because they felt slighted by Hillary and her campaign,” Biden said. “We never would have not gone to Michigan as the campaign decided not to do because they felt entitled to the votes of those people. (Read more from “Biden’s Brother Explains Why Some Family Members Voted for Trump” HERE)

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Joe Biden Hurt by Obama’s Call for ‘New Blood’ in Politics

By Washington Examiner. Former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, is reportedly slighted by former President Barack Obama’s call for “new blood” in politics.

The 44th president, during a private Obama Foundation reception last week in Hawaii, told attendees there was a “deficit” in political leadership and that there was a need for “new blood.” Though he appeared to be speaking broadly about politics, not specifically the Democratic Party, the Hill reported Sunday that Obama’s comments were a cause of consternation for Biden given the longtime senator’s loyalty to the former president and the way his ex-boss discouraged him from running in 2016 against eventual nominee Hillary Clinton.

“The president loves this guy, loves Joe, thinks the world of him. He would go in a battle ditch with Joe, but that’s different than giving his brand to him,” one Obama ally told the outlet. “He has an incredible soft spot for him. And I’m sure he’ll do everything he can to make Joe feel good, but he won’t come out and make Joe his candidate. And I think that hurts Joe.” (Read more from “Joe Biden Hurt by Obama’s Call for ‘New Blood’ in Politics” HERE)

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President Trump Fires Back at ‘Insulting’ Questions Raised by NYT Article

President Donald Trump joined Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro by phone on Saturday, responding to a Friday New York Times report on the FBI’s Russia investigation.

Pirro brought up the topic during a wide-ranging interview, saying, “New York Times reported that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation the day after you fired James Comey in may of ’17. And the investigation was whether you were actively working for Russia or unwittingly. So I’m going to ask you, are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?”

Without hesitation, the president fired back, “I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked. I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written.”

Trump went on to attack the “failing” New York Times as “a disaster of a newspaper,” adding, “And if you read the article, you’d see that they found absolutely nothing. But the headline of that article — it’s called ‘the failing New York Times’ for a reason — they’ve gotten me wrong for three years. They’ve actually gotten me wrong for many years before that.” . . .

I can tell you this, if you ask the folks in Russia, I’ve been tougher on Russia than anybody else, any other — probably any other president period, but certainly the last three or four presidents, modern day presidents. Nobody’s been as tough as I have from any standpoint including the fact that we’ve done oil like we’ve never done it, we’re setting records in exporting oil and many other things. Which is, obviously, not great for them, because that’s what they — that’s where they get their money for the most part.

(Read more from “President Trump Fires Back at ‘Insulting’ Questions Raised by NYT Article” HERE)

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Watch: Reporter Has Bad News for Those Waiting for Mueller Bombshell

ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl said on Sunday that those who are hoping for a “bombshell” in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation are likely to be disappointed, according to his sources. . .

“What I am getting is that this is all building up to the Mueller report and raising expectations of a bombshell report,” Karl said. “And there have been expectations that have been building, of course, for over a year on this. But people who are closest to what Mueller has been doing, interacting with the special counsel caution me that this report is almost certain to be anti-climactic.”

(Read more from “Watch: Reporter Has Bad News for Those Waiting for Mueller Bombshell” HERE)

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Here’s Why Ocasio-Cortez Just Picked a Fight With CBS News

The freshman representative from New York’s 14th congressional district does not appear to be heeding Whoopi Goldberg’s advice to get to know her Washington surroundings before she starts “pooping on people.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D), who was sworn in just a couple weeks ago, has already picked fights with several lawmakers, including several in her own party. For example, she protested outside Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office demanding she get more progressive on climate change. She then sparred with former Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) over the future of the Democratic Party.

Author Roxane Gay agreed it was a “disgrace” that CBS’s 2020 staff had no African-American voices. Yet, other Twitter users defended CBS and suggested they were hiring not based on race, but simply who was best suited for the job.

Members of the media also pushed back at Ocasio-Cortez’s narrative, including National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar, who said she was no better than President Trump with her “media scold.”

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After her spar with the media, Ocasio-Cortez moved on to shaming her colleagues who she suggested fundraise more than they do legislate.

(Read more from “Here’s Why Ocasio-Cortez Just Picked a Fight With CBS News” HERE)

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Pastor Loses Job After Church Sign Stating ‘Homosexuality Is Still a Sin’ Causes Uproar

Pastor Justin Hoke of Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church in Weed, California, has lost his job following both community and alleged internal backlash over the language used in his most recent church sign. . .

According to SFGate, “a couple dozen” community members gathered to protest the sign on January 6. The protest, called the “Shastina Love Rally,” was organized in part by local resident Amelia Mallory. . .

In an article published just several days ago, Yahoo Lifestyle quoted Pastor Hoke, who said: “We believe that Jesus commands all Christians to let their light shine. We also believe that salvation is only for sinners. Jesus said he came to call sinners, not the righteous. If we give in to cultural demands to stop calling sin ‘sin,’ then we are robbing people of opportunity to hear the truth.” . . .

The pastor also noted that he wasn’t “fired,” but that the church faced a potential fracture in the wake of the fervor surrounding the sign, and that in order to keep the church intact, he felt it was best to vacate his position. Hoke repeatedly stated that he wanted to be circumspect in the way he spoke about the incident because he “loves” the people at Trinity Bible Presbyterian.

Regarding the protesters, Hoke said: “I believe they’re sincere — sincerely wrong, but sincere. I believe that it is hypocritical that their position is taught in schools and pushed on children, while our position is asked to be kept within the walls of the church.” He added that he hopes and believes that “within their midst, there are people whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, and that the command for all Christians is to preach to them the gospel faithfully, calling them to repentance and faith, that they might be changed by the Holy Spirit and brought into the family of God.” (Read more from “Pastor Loses Job After Church Sign Stating ‘Homosexuality Is Still a Sin’ Causes Uproar” HERE)

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Americans Want the Wall… but Still Blame Trump

Americans are increasingly bullish on a border wall but are souring on the government showdown, according to two new polls out Sunday from CNN and the Washington Post.

The Washington Post reports that Americans are almost evenly split on whether they support a solid wall along the United States’ southern border, up from the beginning of the immigration battle between Democrats and Republicans in Congress. That level of support is up ten points from a similar poll taken in January of 2017.

But if President Donald Trump is making his case that his signature anti-illegal immigration measure is urgently needed, he’s not convincing Americans that a government shutdown is the way to get the wall built.

CNN found that “[t]he public generally is more apt to blame the President, with 55% saying he is more responsible for the shutdown than are Democrats in Congress, while 32% say the blame rests mostly with the Democrats. Another 9% say both are responsible.”

In the Washington Post poll, Trump fared only two points better; 53% of respondents blamed Trump and Republicans for the seemingly endless government shutdown, while 29% said the Democrats are making the situation worse.

(Read more from “Americans Want the Wall… but Still Blame Trump” HERE)

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OUTRAGE: FBI Began Investigation Into Whether Trump Was a Russian Agent After He Fired Comey

By AP. Law enforcement officials became so concerned by President Donald Trump’s behavior in the days after he fired FBI Director James Comey that they began investigating whether he had been working for Russia against U.S. interests, The New York Times reported Friday. . .

The inquiry forced counterintelligence investigators to evaluate whether Trump was a potential threat to national security, and they also sought to determine whether Trump was deliberately working for Russia or had unintentionally been influenced by Moscow.

The Times reports that FBI agents and some top officials became suspicious of Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign but didn’t launch an investigation at that time because they weren’t sure how to approach such a sensitive and important probe, according to the sources. But Trump’s behavior in the days around Comey’s May 2017 firing, specifically two instances in which he seemed to tie Comey’s ousting to the Russia investigation, helped trigger the counterintelligence part of the investigation, according to the Times’ sources. (Read more from “Outrage: FBI Began Investigation Into Whether Trump Was a Russian Agent After He Fired Comey” HERE)

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F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia

By The New York Times. In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.

Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said. (Read more from “F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia” HERE)

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Tucker: Criticizing FBI Could Get You Investigated

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